Taking bold climate action by producing 43% of energy on campus & reducing energy bills by 30%
Combining technology, data, design, & machine learning to create an intelligent, future-facing energy system
Active tracking can produce 15-20% more power than a fixed-tilt array of comparable size。 The NX Horizon system used here allows each row to operate independently to optimize solar production。
Vanadium-flow battery energy storage works in tandem with solar energy to reduce energy costs by ‘peak shaving’ – drawing power from solar panels or batteries instead of from the grid during expensive peak times of the day.
The power plant uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize energy production and consumption。 A central energy management system integrates data from sensors on the solar panels and on-site weather stations。 A predictive algorithm uses this data to optimize the performance of each row, individually。
The four on-site weather stations provide data and protect the system, by automatically rotating horizontally in case of high water, 60° westward in case of high winds, and 90° vertically to shed snow during winter storms.
In the middle of each row, a motor pier holds a motor, a slewing drive, and communications and monitoring equipment. Each row is rotated by a single motor and slewing drive. The motor is controlled by a self-powered controller that communicates wirelessly with a centralized network control unit. The central torque tube, solar panels, and piers are connected together and engineered to withstand the constant movement inherent in an active tracking system.
The power plant uses 35 inverters, which are AC-coupled, improving efficiency and allowing for a more flexible system design。
Solar Solutions for Universities
The design decisions behind the MIU Solar Power Plant
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During construction, Ideal Energy created an internship program to engage the University’s student body in all aspects of the installation from design to construction to marketing. We also worked with professors and students to plan and implement an on-site pollinator project and arrange plots of land between array rows for researching regenerative agriculture techniques.
Find out more with an honest, no pressure consultation with our team of solar experts。
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*Estimated 25 year utility savings are above and beyond the installed system cost with incentives, and are based on current utility electrical rates and predicted future utility rates。 Production data is based on NREL and PV Watts。